Alex Leatherwood might be the best recruiter the Alabama football program has outside its own coaching staff.
A four-star offensive tackle commit from Booker T. Washington High School (Pensacola, Fla.), Leatherwood rattled off eight names when asked which prospects he was recruiting to join him next season in Tuscaloosa.
“(Five-star CB) Shaun Wade, (four-star OL) Edward Ingram, (four-star WR) Jerry Jeudy, (four-star OL) Trey Smith, (five-star OL) Wyatt Davis, (five-star DT) Marvin Wilson, (five-star DE) Jarez Parks and (five-star S) Jeffrey Okudah,” Leatherwood said.
However, what might be most interesting about Leatherwood’s recruitment of those eight elite athletes is that it appears he is not acting alone. He seems to be partnering with a silent commit. Leatherwood, though, refused to give any hint as to who he might be working with on the recruiting trail.
“Me and another name that I cannot reveal have been recruiting for a while now,” Leatherwood said.
Leatherwood, who didn’t start playing football until the ninth grade, told SEC Country that his recruiting pitch from recruit to recruit varies, but there’s a similar message that each one gets.
“Mostly, I tell them that they will never be pushed as hard as you will be if you came to Alabama,” Leatherwood said. “You will be coached to play at high levels under the best coaches at Alabama.”
The 6-foot-5, 297-pounder is extremely close with the Alabama coaching staff. He talked with Nick Saban Tuesday afternoon just to talk to about how each celebrated Easter with their families, and Leatherwood filled him in on how his offseason training is going.
“The bond we have is unbreakable,” Leatherwood said. “The coaching staff and I have built a great bond.”
That quote should be encouraging to Alabama fans when considering the fact that he’ll continue to take visits to other schools. Leatherwood said he’s planning visits to USC, Michigan, Auburn, LSU, Miami and Florida in the coming months, along with Alabama.
He has a message for Crimson Tide supporters who may be nervous about whether his commitment to Alabama is as strong as it appears.
“Just keep calm because I’m going through the process,” Leatherwood said. “I’ve yet to see a lot of colleges. I love Alabama. They were my second offer. I hadn’t seen any other schools before committing to them. I had just three offers until this past January. I’m just enjoying the process and just being a kid.
“These trips are purely just to see other places and for traveling and making the most out of this process.”
The trips he has made so far (LSU, Florida and Mississippi State) have not compared to the time he has spent at Alabama, he said.
“It’s like my second home now,” Leatherwood said. “I hate leaving.
“The environment there is just like being around my family. I’m very comfortable there. It’s really welcoming. It’s a great place to be.”
Leatherwood is planning on attending Alabama’s spring game on April 16. If he does make it, it’s guaranteed that he’ll be in the ears of some of the top recruits there.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.